BREAKING: NBA basketball could be over for the summer. Aside from the always “entertaining” Summer League, we won’t see any meaningful 5 on 5 action until October. So, if it has to end…hopefully it happens in style. Here’s a few predictions about Game 6, which we hope delivers enough memories to hang on to for a few months!
Timofey Mozgov will play at least 30 minutes. Coach David Blatt foolishly went away from his size advantage in Game 5 and the Warriors easily capitalized. Mozgov can’t defend the P&R but he can provide enough energy and inside scoring to help keep the game competitive.
Remember, Golden State had Draymond Green at center for about 35 minutes last time out. If they feed Mozgov early and often, it could force Green into foul trouble and take away Steve Kerr’s most valuable frontcourt threat.
Iman Shumpert will have a “cluck” game. What’s a “cluck” game, you ask?
Well here’s our definition: When a random role player/UnderDOG either provides production far above his capabilities or comes through in a clutch situation despite struggling for an extended period of time (ex. Shane Battier’s 6 three-pointers in Game 7 of the 2013 Finals); unsustainable output
No better player fits that mold than Shumpert, who is averaging just 6 points on 27% shooting in the Finals. He’s WELL overdue for a huge night. And by huge night, we mean 17-20 points and 4 threes. (There’s about a 27% chance of this actually happening)
Shaun Livingston will be the latest UnderDOG to star for the Warriors. As cliché as it sounds, the Dubs truly have strength in numbers. Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Harrison Barnes, & Leandro Barbosa have all had their chances to shine throughout the Finals.
Livingston, the rare success story who bounced back from his horrific knee injury back in 2007, is one of the more steady second-unit floor generals in the NBA and is a versatile enough defender to play multiple spots. Expect him to control the pace and score timely buckets.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will combine for 65 points. Steph & Klay have not really had any games during the Finals where they both shot lights out from the field. With Curry getting his groove back in Games 4 & 5, he’ll likely ride that hot momentum to another 30-35 point night.
Look for Klay to join the party and splash his way to at least 30 points in shooting display for the ages.
LeBron James will be named Finals MVP. This prediction works twofold, as we are also proclaiming the Warriors champions tonight! There’s been a lot of speculation that LeBron will capture his 3rd Finals MVP trophy, win or lose. For it to happen, not only will Steph Curry need to struggle mightily, LeBron needs ANOTHER “40-point” triple-double.
In elimination games, he is averaging 31.9 ppg, the highest in NBA History. LeBron’s insatiable drive to push the Cavs over the top will fall short but he will add a nice consolation prize to his trophy case.
VERDICT: The Warriors will be the crown jewel of the league after defeating LeBron and the Cavs (in a close game) tonight. The Bay Area has not seen their Dubs on top since 1975, so the celebration will be EPIC. 67 regular season victories, topped off by an MVP Trophy and championship, will make the 2014-15 campaign a special memory for Steph, Steve Kerr & the rest of DubNation.